Class of 2018
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What You Should Do NOW: Figure the Cost of College
The Cost of College is More Than Just Tuition and Fees
When calculating the cost of attending the college or university you’ve picked, you should consider all expenses such as room and board, travel, and books and supplies. Keep in mind that there are several different “total costs,” including: sticker price, net cost, and net price.
Sticker Price: The cost posted on college or university webpages and materials.
Net Cost*: The amount of money needed to pay for college after subtracting all financial aid.
Net Price*: The amount a college or university will actually cost you. It is the sum of your educational expenses minus gift aid (money that doesn’t have to be repaid). This is the amount you should use to understand how much you’ll actually be paying.
*Definitions based on those provided by the U.S. Department of Education
Contact the Financial Aid Office
Once you think you’ve calculated the actual price of attending, contact that college or university’s financial aid office to get a more accurate estimate of your complete cost of attendance for the length of your program. Recommended questions to ask:
- Will grant and scholarship amounts change each year?
- Are the scholarships renewable?
- What work-study jobs are available?
- How many hours will I need to work to earn all of my work-study money?
- What are the costs of attendance increases for the last three years?
Determine How You’re Going to Afford College
If your current financial aid and cost savings look like they won’t cover everything, don’t lose hope. You still have options.
Many colleges and universities will allow you to enter a tuition payment plan–spreading your tuition across several smaller payments. With smaller payments, you may be able to cover the costs with a part-time job.
You may also consider private loans. Examine any private loan terms you are offered thoroughly and remember: these funds must be repaid.
Invest in Your Future
Higher education is a valuable investment in your future. With the right resources, you can be sure it is a wise one. Download this guide that can help you make college affordable by showing you how to properly plan and determine costs for attending college.